Walcot boxer Patrick McDonagh’s dream of a medal at the Youth World Championships in Sofia is over after defeat in his last 16 contest with Italian Champion Vincenzo Arecchia, writes Dave Veysey.

Both boxers made a cautious start to this light-welterweight encounter, with few scoring shots landing during the opening minutes.

The orthodox Arecchia found the target with occasional left jabs as the southpaw McDonagh advanced.

While the Walcot fighter scored with a couple of straight lefts, the Italian did slightly more to win a low-scoring round on all three judges’ scorecards.

McDonagh raised his game during the second three minutes, and enjoyed much greater success.

He scored with his double right jab on two occasions, and also with a heavy straight left which threatened to stop the Italian in his tracks.

But to his credit Arecchia came back to score with left jabs and occasional straight rights.

Although the British champion appeared to edge this session, all three judges chalked up the round to the Italian.

McDonagh came out fast for the final round and immediately found the target with a right jab-straight left combination, but the experienced Italian kept his cool and used his reach advantage to good effect, keeping the Walcot boxer at range whilst scoring with his fast left jab.

After a close bout all three judges found in favour of Arecchia, awarding him a unanimous points decision.

Patrick’s father Paddy said afterwards: “I am sad that Patrick has lost, but I know he did his best.

“The GB Head Coach has told me that although Patrick lost this contest his performances overall have impressed him.”

Back at Walcot Boxing Club Chief Coach Harry Scott added: “Patrick can hold his head up high - he has done well to reach the last 16 in the world at his first attempt.

“He is only 17 so will be able to box in this championship next year when he will be that much more experienced.

“He has certainly done enough to ensure he has a future at world level - well done Patrick from all at Walcot.”